Saturday, November 11, 2006

Knitting superpowers

Please don't hate me.

I mean it. No one likes the overachiever or the person who ruins the curve. I've scanned a few other knitting blogs to know that a common topic is not having enough time to knit. Here I am, the newbie who learned to knit four weeks ago, and I've finished three scarves. Without a doubt, that number will climb to four today or tomorrow. Plus, I've started this knitblog and updated it at least five days a week. I admit that I've been ridiculously productive. I'm hoping that you fellow knitters have gentle hearts and will be happy for me rather than wanting to jab me with your needles.

Which is all my way of leading up to the news that I finished the first skein of yarn for the purple scarf and don't have much more to knit to turn it into an FO. Like I said, please don't hate me.

Kristin knows that I keep pretty busy between work and the movies--which is also work, but let's face it, nobody considers it to be--so I think she's been impressed at how quickly I've picked up knitting. Since I had been having a lot of trouble with the purple scarf, I wanted her to see how it was coming along now that I had figured it out. Yesterday I sent her a photo of my progress. She responded wanting to know if I had superpowers.

If I have any superpowers--and of course I don't--she deserves the credit for helping me to discover and develop them. (In that sense, I told her this must make her Yoda.) There's no secret to how I've been able to knit so much. It's a combination of the Protestant work ethic and enjoying knitting a lot. And one other factor...I'm running a child labor sweat shop out of my apartment.

No, not really. But there are another couple key ingredients. Being single, I'm able to do with my free time as I see fit, which has meant knitting these past weeks. There's also the fact that I have a tendency to stay up later than I should and not get enough sleep. (This is an extreme example, but the night of The Knot, I didn't get to bed until 3 a.m.) I wouldn't say that either of those things are advantages; they're more like the classic superhero burdens. You'll be glad to know that I've chosen to use my powers for good.

Still, the question remains how I was able to charge through a skein of the purple yarn that had tormented me every other time I'd tried to knit it. Honestly, I don't know. I just had a breakthrough. I think it helps that with each scarf I've used slightly less bulky yarn. I've worked my way up to this finer stuff. I took my time with it until I reached a comfort zone where I could go at my normal speed and wrap the yarn tightly. I've been particularly careful with the first two stitches on the needle because that's where problems have arisen the most. Kristin made a good call in putting it on bigger needles and, more importantly, lighter colored needles. I can see the main strands better.

I believe that this yarn knits quickly too. I don't think I spent an inordinate amount of time working on it, but then again, if I'm listening to my iPod and knitting, I lose track of the time easily.

Currently the scarf is 53" inches long. My other three FOs are about six feet long, so I expect this one should be a little longer as well. The difference is that those are for taller people. My mom is 5'4". Since I'm anything but an expert on women's fashion, here's where I need your help. How long should I make this scarf?

I suppose I shouldn't finish it today, if just for the fact that I'll be out of yarn. Monday after work I'll have to venture out and see what I can find. Once my mom's scarf is done, I'll have three left to reach my original goal of seven. Since that number looks well within reach, I may shoot for twelve by Christmas. And yes, one will be for me. fourth FO.


At 11:56 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

i'm curious to know what people have to say about the proper length of a scarf. i usually try to make mine as tall as the person who will be wearing it, but sometimes that either too long or two short, depending on the scarf. anyway, i will be checking back to see what everyone else thinks. wtg on your mad-progress...i think u do have superpowers! : )

At 3:01 PM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

That sounds reasonable. I'm also curious to find out what people think. I never paid attention to scarf length--what reason did I have?--but I realized it's sort of important in this instance.

Thanks for the response!

At 3:41 PM, Blogger kdk said...

As far as I know, there's really no scientific rule to the whole scarf-length dilemma. I was thinking that 5' would probably be good -- but, then again, if I were making it for Paul, I might make it shorter because that's the way he likes them. I'm going to stick by my initial guess, though. She'll have enough to wrap it around her neck and still show off her son's mad knitting skillz.

At 4:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't hate you for being so productive, well I don't. I think it's great! Can't wait to see the finished scarf, no clue on how long to make one though, is there any way to suss out your mum's preferences?

At 8:39 AM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

Kristin's advice has always been spot on, so I'm going to go with 5'. In the short term there's no real way to figure out what my mom might prefer. I'll be home next Thursday, but she might grow suspicious if I sneak off with her scarf and a tape measure.


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